Goat Moth Caterpillar

H.I.S. wilderness has become home for insects and lizards

After hearing a talk last year from an expert on insects and their massive decline in Germany and all over the world, the H.I.S. Environment Group determined to improve the planting in the school garden in order to benefit insects, such as bees, beetles and  butterflies.

With the Coronavirus outbreak, our plans were thwarted this year and the H.I.S. garden was left somewhat to its own devices; although thanks go to the admin team, for keeping the herbs watered.

Before lockdown I had been concerned about weeds taking over and overwhelming what had been planted the year before during the playground improvements and by the PYP classes. The ‘weeds’ have indeed gained a foothold in those new beds, however, I need not have worried.

Sometimes weeds are just what you need! We now have beds that are full of insect beneficial plants, such as clover, which complement those that were planted, such as lavender, lupins, Buddleia, and poppies. There seems to be room for both cultivars and chancers and, with the long break from the students, both have become established.

What has emerged over lockdown is a true paradise for insects, reptiles (lizards) and humans alike. It has been an absolute delight to watch the students explore this biosphere, especially the lower primary classes who are now truly engaged with nature thanks to their teachers who have encouraged them to go out into the garden and discover! The students have found all kinds of minibeasts, including last week, a huge goat moth caterpillar https://butterfly-conservation.org/moths/goat-moth which they were determined to protect.

Plans have been made to install a low rounded picket fence to protect the largest of the new beds from being walked on when the students return to school in August so that the head start Corona has given nature is not lost. The Environment Group will involve the students in slowly adding beneficial plants here and there between bee-friendly weeds and the perennials that were purposely planted.

May nature continue to thrive in our lovely school garden!


Community Spirit

MYP Service as Action

Students in the MYP “rose to the challenge” and completed many projects during their distance learning.  THANK YOU to all of the students and parents for helping others, be it family members or the wider community.  These actions, however small, make a big difference to others and help you develop new skills and positive attitudes.

Some of the popular activities completed were cooking for the family, making face masks, cleaning, gardening, and taking younger children on nature walks.

There were many other individual actions, including reading English to family friends learning the language, translating documents for a charity, shopping for groceries for a neighbour, walking the neighbour’s dog, teaching mum the piano, teaching a younger sibling how to read the clock, making an educational quiz and writing messages of support to primary students.

Well Done!!!

Mr Knowles

Björn Steiger Stiftung

Dedicated to making a difference

Last week we welcomed Mr. Angelo Sapia from the Björn Steiger Foundation and Mr. Christian Schreiber from the Fashion Store Henschel. We are very grateful for being supported by the Foundation as well as Henschel, thanks to the material supplied and the funding of it, we can each year teach students in Primary and Secondary School how to help safe lives in an emergency situation.

photo: AS

“Man Meets Dog”

Konnie is back

Today was not the first day back at school for Konnie, but he certainly celebrated his arrival at school this morning as if it had been his first. He welcomed staff and students and took his time before entering the building and going to his office.

In his book “Man Meets Dog” Nobel Prize winning ethnologist Konrad Lorenz, claims that dogs can smile and even laugh. I am pretty sure that I saw a huge smile on Konnie’s face today! A big thank you to Kate for looking after Konnie so well, he looks very healthy and happy!

Student: “I think we need to think about calling him Konrad from now on – he has grown so much!”

text & photos: AS

Woof (“Have a good weekend!”)

Konnie found a massive stick on our walk the other day.  He insisted on carrying it the whole way home!

Here he is listening to birds on this morning’s walk.

Only Konnie could find a football by the river.  He had great fun playing in the water and chasing the ball. He had a well-earned rest afterwards.


photos: KvG


Volunteer Work for WHO

A faculty member of Heidelberg International School has been working as a volunteer for a London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine data mapping  project with WHO.
The crowd-sourced project focuses on public health and social measures applied during the COVID-19 pandemic in different countries.  The volunteers working on this project devote small amounts of time to finding answers to questions online and editing datasets.
The first results have just been posted on the WHO website:​

MYP Service as Action

Let's make this happen!

Dear MYP students and parents,

Why not get involved together in doing Service as Action Activities as a family during distant learning?  Every Friday between 14.15-15.10 the students in MYP have time to work on this! You can do something for each other as a family or for the local community. Please document your action and share it with your Homeroom Teacher. Contact Mr. Knowles for any questions about Service as Action.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make and donate a food parcel to a local food bank
  • Make face masks to give away
  • Make an audio book or do online storytelling for Primary students
  • Teach yoga to grandparents online
  • Help cleaning at home
  • Cook a 3 course meal for the family
  • Volunteer to do go shopping for an elderly neighbour
  • Go on a nature hike and identify trees and plants using the seek app by inaturalist

text: JK